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Patrick F Connolly
Postgraduate Researcher, National University of Ireland Galway.
Major fields of interest
Pharmacology, biochemistry, toxicology, cell biology, biotechnology
2012 to Present:
Currently engaged in a four year Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the National
University of Ireland, Galway. I am currently writing my thesis and plan to
submit by September 2016. I will be available to begin new projects by year’s
end. During this PhD, I have worked with a large degree of independence, as
my supervisor has been on a research sabbatical for the final year. I have also
had experience managing, mentoring and training groups of undergraduate and
MSc students for extended periods.
2008 to 2012:
B.Sc. in Biotechnology from Dublin City University, Ireland. I graduated
with an upper second-class honours degree. Major fields studied: Biochemistry,
microbiology, industrial bioprocessing, genetic engineering, cell culture.
Publications, Conferences and Talks
Patrick F. Connolly and Howard O. Fearnhead (2014). DNA-PK is required for
myogenic differentiation. FEBSJ (in second-round review as of 31-May-2016)
Patrick F. Connolly, Richard Jäger, and Howard O. Fearnhead (2014). New
roles for old enzymes: killer caspases as the engine of cell behavior changes.
Frontiers in Physiology, vol. 5.
Poster presentation: Irish Association of Cancer Research Conference. EGFR
blockade and the inhibition of muscle regeneration in vitro: perspectives for
cancer-associated cachexia. Connolly, Fearnhead. Limerick, Ireland, 2015.
Poster presentation: European Cell Death Organization Conference. DNA-PK
inhibitor Nu-7441 blocks caspase-dependent myogenic differentiation.
Connolly, Fearnhead. Geneva, Switzerland, 2015.
Scheduled to give the following oral presentation: Irish Cell Death Society
conference. DNA-PK activity is required for caspase-dependant myogenic
differentiation. Cork, Ireland, June 2016.
Novel kinases involved in myogenic fusion. (September 2012 to present)
This is the main project in my PhD. I have screened large compound libraries to
identify novel kinases that play a role in myogenic fusion, with particular
interest in kinases which interact with cell death or DNA damage response
machinery. From these screens, I have identified several putative novel kinases
essential for myogenic fusion (one publication in peer review, addressing
reviewer’s comments as of May-1-2016, another manuscript in preparation).
Through this screening project, I have also uncovered potential side-activities of
some commonly used clinical chemotherapeutic drugs (manuscripts in
Discovery of novel glycan-binding proteins in Serratia marcescens.
(January 2012 to April 2012)
Glycosylation is a post-translation modification which is, in many
circumstances, essential for the normal structure and functioning of a protein.
To ensure that correctly gylcosylated proteins are produced, tools must be
developed to selectively purify the correct glyco-isoform.
Lectins are proteins which recognize and bind different sugar moieties, and can
be used in affinity chromatography. An incomplete roster of lectins is currently
available, particularly ones targeting asialofetuin, the terminal sugar residue on
mammalian antibody glycans.
The goal of this project was to screen extracts from the microbe S. marcescens
for proteins which can selectively bind asialofetuin-terminating glycans (ATG).
Through this work I discovered a putative new ATG-binding protein.
Specific skills and experience
I am proficient and experienced in the following areas:
Pharmacology; biochemistry; working in GMP and GLP environments; drug
screening; drug toxicology; target validation; recombinant protein production
and purification; DNA sequencing and analysis; bioinformatics; ELISA; whole
cell assays (proliferation, viability, survival); pharmacokinetics and
pharmacodynamics; glycosylation and glycobiology; mammalian cell culture;
bacterial cell culture; insect cell culture; fluorescence microscopy;
chromatography; primary cell culture; haematology, histology and cytology
staining; genetic engineering; flow cytometry and FACS; AKTA; SOP
formulation; cDNA library creation; hit compound validation; viral culture and
viral vector transduction; antibody titre and quality analysis; cryopreservation;
immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy; RNA interference methods
(siRNA and shRNA); PCR (real-time; multiplex; etc); quality control;
bioreactor operation; membrane filtration; assay development; data processing
and analysis; statistical methods.
Date of Birth:
English (Native proficiency)
Irish (Limited working proficiency)
Dutch (Elementary proficiency)
French (Limited working proficiency)
Hobbies and Interests:
Writing, travel, photography, hiking , camping.